Originally Posted by MDLawn
Hmm, half of the landscape/lawncare/whatever companies I see have these......or a rust bucket.
I always just ask myself what I'd like to see pulling up to my house if I needed to hire someone. Myself along with others probably wouldn't think about it if someone showed up in a clean regular or crew cab, gas or diesel, pick up or dump truck. I don't think many potential customers could even remember what you showed up with. But the lift kits, wild rims, crazy loud exhausts, truck falling apart or other things that make me think is this a contractor or what? Again I agree these are a waste of money and a lot of guys have them for whatever reason...... Personally I am much more at ease when a clean truck shows up with someone dressed for business (polo or very clean t-shirt) for an estimate. I'm sold on the image thing with a company. If I come over to a work site, then yes people may be dirty and whatnot. But the clean image thing can go a long way I believe.
I always think that, personal image. Now I'm no where near the standings of ETW and his company. As in me the owner, My shirt is dirty, my cargo shorts have dirt stains, my one day stubble on my face, my shoes and pants are covered in grass clippings where 9 times out of 10 when a potenial customer walks up and talks to me. They currently see the work behind me, or have talked with the home owner if they are from the neighbor hood. When working is one thing, going to the call on someones property I do the opposite. I have a company t-shirt set aside, my shirt color is red with yellow lettering, that looks great (almost right out of the box from the printer's), I wear black cargo pants, nice shoes, clean shaven, clean hair cut and a must as I do most of these on a friday cleanest truck (truck gets washed every thursday, mostly cause its diesel and its a white).
As for trucks, its really depends on the area. Rust in my area is a normal sign, being from the rust belt in WI. Now by all means my current truck is a 98 K3500 Chevy, its not new nor bling'ed out. The only thing beyond stock is relocated PMD/FSD, aftermarket injectors (they don't make OEM injectors to the civilian market anymore), a 4in stainless steel dual exhaust (didn't put it on, bought it that way, but sounds good not loud plus helps the engine out, also being a plow truck it helps), and lastly a plow that techinically aftermarket as well but again it makes some money. I'm a firm beleiver if your going to sink money into a truck, its got to do something. I have plans for my truck on adding a trans temp gauge and a trans cooler fan. This is for again plowing snow. I've seen to many trucks go down for overheating trans issues, a few bucks to help solving a weak link is fine.
Now on to rust, in my area its common. Now having rust on a work truck is acceptable, BUT THERE IS A POINT: and a fine one that rust on a work truck becomes S%&$ box. Good note is if there is surface rust on cab corners its time for a maaco paint job for 200 bucks. Rear bumpers, beds (OEM and aftermarket) on trucks rust. They know it comes from salt, even their BMW's and Lexus's rust. If its leaking any kind of fuild (diesel, oil, or coolent) is a no go, even if you use a truck only a few times a year. Look over it and crawl underneath if its seeping that seal needs to be replaced soon, if its fuel its replaced since yesterday (its a waste of money).
There is more I can go in on it, but I won't. But in any industry Clean isn't show room but it has to be acceptable.
Take a look at bigger operations like your brickman, US lawns, or David J Frank's. They don't have show room quality, but they are cleaned. Older trucks are replaced (due to rusting/ age issues). They have dents, frames are rusted once you look closly enough.